Three things you won’t see at CES 2013

by Steve Blum • , , , , , , ,

Rocking with Jonney.

No computer companies. Ten years ago, they were the stars of the show. The final keynote by Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer last year marked the end of their run. (Apple was so far ahead of the curve they stopped showing up before they stopped being a computer company).

I’ll miss ASUS’s Jonney Shih and even Intel’s Paul Otellini. They had interesting ideas to share, and said it well. On the other hand, some won’t be missed. Ballmer’s snarling product demonstrations and Cisco CEO John Chambers’ autistic self promotion performances were embarrassing to sit through.

Second, consumer friendly home automation products and systems won’t appear. I hope I’m wrong. I had such great hopes for it last year, thinking at the time that service providers like mobile telecoms companies and cable operators would finally muscle into the business. Not so. It’s still a fragmented sector crammed with incompatible and, frequently, incomprehensible products.

The third thing you won’t see at the Consumer Electronics Show is, well, a consumer electronics show. Or so the Consumer Electronics Association, the organizers, are telling us…

Note to Editors: The official name of the global technology event is “International CES.” Subsequent references to the show can be shortened to “CES.” Please do not use “Consumer Electronics Show” to refer to the International CES.

I don’t know when this name change happened. It might have been a while ago and it didn’t register – some things tend to get caught in my mental spam filter. Particularly when it has corporate brain trust written all over it.

To be fair, it makes a certain amount of sense for CES. With specialized consumer electronics retailers dying out, the show is less and less about filling distribution channels and increasingly about showcasing products, of any kind, in order to drive demand directly.

On with the show.